Supporting Breastfeeding

La Leche League Canada

Becoming a Mother

on May 9, 2016

Along with the birth of a baby comes the birth of a mother – you will learn together.
How many of us, before becoming mothers ourselves, have looked upon a screaming child at the grocery store and sworn, with misguided certainty, that it would never happen to us. The same judgment was there in many situations I observed before motherhood: overhearing another parent use an overly harsh tone for a child’s behavior, too much television, idle parental threats….the list goes on and on. Before I was born into my motherhood role, I had all of the answers. Since then, I have been on a road fraught with humility and pitfalls. Luckily, the road has also been rich with many, many gifts that make it all worthwhile.
When my first baby was born, I was well read. I didn’t focus only on the birth and forget about the postpartum period. I was a postpartum nurse in the newborn nursery; I taught mothers about baby care and breastfeeding. I was certain I had the whole mothering thing in the bag. When my beautiful baby girl arrived three weeks early, I wasn’t worried; I couldn’t wait to put my skills to the test.

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Then, we brought her home. We settled in for a few hours, and the downfall of my misplaced confidence began. She cried and cried and cried. As midnight loomed, I called the pediatrician because surely my lovely baby was sick; there must be something wrong with her because I didn’t know how to solve the problem. The pediatrician patiently asked questions to determine if there was something physically wrong, and we checked her temperature and examined her. The pediatrician had just examined our baby a few hours prior at our hospital discharge, so the next step was my first lesson in becoming humbled as a mother: the pediatrician gently explained that sometimes babies cry. She explained that sometimes babies even cry all night. Rationally, I knew this of other people’s babies, but somehow I was naively sure I would be able to circumvent all discomfort for my daughter if I just loved her enough and read the right books.
My world crashed down a little in that moment on the phone with the pediatrician. I began to grasp the magnitude of my role as a mother. The physical birth of the baby was powerful and painful, and now I was beginning to understand that growing into my potential as a mother was going to be painful too. I had to let go of all of my misguided and overconfident preconceived ideas and begin fresh. I had a lot to learn. My daughter and I cried together quite a bit that night and through the difficult colicky weeks that followed.
Slowly, I learned that by watching my baby, and having a “back pocket” full of comfort measures to try, I could solve the problems. I learned that the solution was often found in offering the breast. With my baby in my arms and at my breast, I was empowered. I admired and gazed at her tiny, perfect self. I watched her sucking patterns; I learned many subtle behavior cues. I learned about being the mother to this wonderful, already decisive baby girl as she learned about the world. Slowly, and with a lot of support from family, friends, and La Leche League, I became the authority as her mother. Nobody could take care of that baby as well as I could. Nobody. My mothering confidence was born again.
With each new phase, new trials and triumphs are born: toddlerhood, adding a sibling, adding another sibling, the elementary school years, which flowed right into the tweens and teens. There have been some stages where I have had a lot (a really, really lot) to learn, while I have rolled right through others. There is still more to come—more lessons for all of us. We are learning together.

1LeaderMother

 

Used with permission from LLL USA http://www.lllusa.org/ New Beginnings http://www.lllusa.org/becoming-a-mother/

If you need more information or have a breastfeeding problem or concern, you are strongly encouraged to talk directly to an accredited La Leche League Leader. In Canada, Leaders can be located by clicking http://www.lllc.ca/find-group or Internationally http://www.llli.org/.

If you have found this article helpful, La Leche League Canada would appreciate your support in the form of a donation at http://www.lllc.ca/join-lllc-friends so we can continue to help others breastfeed. Thank you!

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LLLC Spring Appeal Campaign for the support of breastfed babies: Help LLLC Grow – If you, or someone you know, has benefitted from the support of LLLC, a donation is one way you can “pay it forward”.
Donate Today
Over 385,000 babies are born in Canada each year and we want to ensure every mother has access to La Leche League Canada support whenever she needs it. We are working hard to grow and we need your support. Every donation helps us provide more support to more families!
Thanks to past donations, we have been working hard to grow our services:
Our volunteer Leaders are the cornerstone of LLLC and the support we provide. We have increased our Leaders by 10% in the past year and Leader Applicants by 40% over the past 2 years!
More than 13,000 mothers attend LLLC meetings and another 20,000 receive one-to-one phone support from Leaders.
We have doubled our community and health professional outreach in just one year!
5 new Information Sheets in various languages were made available free of charge to mothers and health professionals
A new Communication Skills program was developed to strengthen health professional and breastfeeding peer support skills and our Best for Babies pre-natal program continues to grow.
Our Leaders are a vital part of LLLC’s breastfeeding foundation. They freely devote their time to help other parents give their children the optimal start in life. You, the donor, make up the other part of the foundation on which the LLLC breastfeeding services rest. Your gifts mean that our Leaders can carry out the valuable help families need. Frankly, we would be unable to deliver services to families without you or our Leaders so please take a moment to consider how valuable your support is and make a donation, either online or by using our pledge form. If a one-time donation is not suitable for you, perhaps spreading your gift over a year would make sense. Our pledge form has the monthly donation option for your convenience.
We are proud of our growth – but we want to do so much more! We need your support to help us serve even more mothers. Please donate today so we can grow to serve the mothers and babies of tomorrow.
Thank you for taking the time to consider supporting La Leche League Canada and our continued efforts to support all breastfeeding families who need us.

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